It's been an exercise in frustration for defensive end Victor Abiamiri, the former second-round pick out of Notre Dame.
Snake-bitten by injuries in his three seasons in Philadelphia, Abiamiri has contributed 54 tackles and four sacks in 29 career regular season games.
The 6-foot-4, 267-pound Abiamiri has all the tools to play the position -- brute strength, athleticism and versatility. What is missing is his ability to stay on the field.
Entering training camp last summer, the starting job at left defensive end was his to lose. Then, on the eve of camp opening, head coach Andy Reid announced that Abiamiri was sidelined with a strained pectoral muscle. Abiamiri lost out on valuable reps in camp and in the preseason.
He worked diligently to get back on the field and started the season opener at Carolina. Against the Panthers, Abiamiri scored the first touchdown of his life after recovering a fumble forced by Trent Cole on a sack of Jake Delhomme.
The 2-yard fumble recovery for the score coupled with a career-high 6 tackles seemed to be a good way to start the season. He followed that up by chipping in 14 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack while starting the next four games.
Then injury struck again. Abiamiri suffered a left knee sprain in the forgettable loss at Oakland and was sidelined for the remainder of that game and the next three contests. He was not the same after that. He recorded five tackles and a sack while working in as a backup at end and as a defensive tackle in the nickel defense.
In 2008, Abiamiri needed surgery to correct a dislocated wrist and was inactive for the first five games of the season. He then suffered a Lisfranc sprain late in the year that sidelined him for the final two regular-season games and the first playoff game.
Abiamiri faces a crticial off-season and his biggest challenge at this point is staying healthy.
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 4:00 p.m., January 28